WSL Preview: Arsenal Women v Manchester City | Match preview | News

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We’re back from the international break with a bang as this Sunday we host high-flying Manchester City in the Women’s Super League.

The historically competitive draw marks the first time our Gunners have played at Meadow Park this season as we look for a statement victory on home soil.

The last time

It was an exciting affair the last time we met Gareth Taylor’s side. Although the visitors took the lead in the first five minutes, we fought back with a brave performance in the second half and Frida Maanum’s equalizer.

A moment of magic from Katie McCabe then ensured the comeback was complete as she unleashed a stunning strike through the area and into the top corner.

Earlier that year we beat City in extra time in another Meadow Park classic to book our place in the Conti Cup final. Stina Blackstenius broke the deadlock in the 93rd minute thanks to a nice cutback from compatriot Lina Hurtig.

A thrilling start for City

After a disappointing end to last season where they failed to qualify for the Champions League, Manchester City have started this season with confidence.

Gareth Taylor’s side are unbeaten after four games thanks to victories over West Ham United, Bristol City and Leicester City, with only reigning champions Chelsea keeping pace so far.

In terms of players to watch, summer signing and ex-shooter Jill Roord has scored three goals and an assist for City so far and their frontline of Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Bunny Shaw remains as dangerous as ever.

Alex Greenwood will miss this weekend’s match after suffering a head injury while on international duty with the Lionesses.

Facts and statistics

  • Beth Mead holds our club record for most WSL assists with 39. Our number 9 is just one away from becoming the first player in WSL history to make 40 assists for one club
  • Only one of our 19 previous meetings with Manchester City in the Women’s Super League has ended in a draw. That game came in January 2022, when Tobin Heath scored a last-minute equalizer at the Academy Stadium
  • We have only lost one of our last four league games against City, winning two and drawing once
  • Away from home, Manchester City have lost three of their last five league matches. However, Gareth Taylor’s team won the last two away games without setbacks
  • Katie McCabe has scored three of our last four goals. These goals included a crucial equalizer against Aston Villa and both goals in our win over Bristol City
  • Caitlin Foord has had 38 touches in the opponent’s penalty area this season, which is five more than any other player. Our Australian winger has completed 10 dribbles – the most in the league – and only Martha Thomas and Lauren James have had more shots

What the managers say

Eidevall on City: “I’m looking forward to facing a good football team in Manchester City. Together with Chelsea, they are the two best teams in terms of attacking crosses and they often use that as a weapon.”

“City have been playing very well for a long time and I think they have carried their form from last spring into the new season. This makes a lot of sense because they have had a lot of consistency in their way of playing. They have the same coach, but also because they keeping the same players and being able to play with them.” Read every word of Jonas’ presser

Taylor about us: “We are ready and looking forward to the challenge. We really need to take advantage of the fact that they are not yet familiar with the Meadow Park surface this season.”

Team news

Eidevall confirmed that Lina Hurtig will feature for Sunday’s match after missing the international break with Sweden. Amanda Ilestedt and Lia Walti could also be involved, despite facing international obligations.

With Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Kyra Cooney-Cross only returning from the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Australia on Friday, the trio did not attend training, but Eidevall was hopeful they would be available for the final training session on Saturday.

No further injuries have been reported apart from the ongoing rehabilitation of Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither and Teyah Goldie.

Match officials

Referee: Rebecca Welch

Assistants: Natalie Aspinall and Sophie Dennington

Fourth officer: Mel Burgin

How to watch

Tickets for this match at Meadow Park are sold out.

UK supporters can watch all the action live via BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. Coverage starts at 12:15 GMT with kick-off 15 minutes later.

Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted provided that is acknowledged as the source.

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